Sunday 22 July 2018

The State has a duty to protect our imprisoned youth from themselves

Oberstown must be given the resources to do its very difficult job

Oberstown House
Oberstown House
Gerard Eglington
Warren Dumbrell
Leon Wright

Shane Dunphy

Gardai launched a major search last week for the teenagers who ran away from a child-detention centre in north Dublin. It is the latest incident in an ongoing series of problems the facility has experienced over several years.

And despite negative publicity, calls for help from staff and the reality that the children the centre serves are being put at serious risk, the response from government remains the same: nothing has been done.

On this occasion, four youths, aged 15 and 16, broke out of the Oberstown facility, near Lusk, at around 9.30pm last Saturday, July 25. Staff at Oberstown became aware of the escape as it was in progress and confronted the young men but were unable to prevent their absconding. It is understood that no staff were harmed during the incident, which is a real risk in this type of childcare.

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